Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Historian to explore Lost Colony mystery in Asheboro library talk

ASHEBORO  -- One of North Carolina’s greatest mysteries lies in the question, “What happened to the Lost Colony?”

Were the colonists killed? Did they move into the interior? Were they captured by Indians?

Join historian Dr. Arwin Smallwood as he explores “The Mysteries of the Lost Colony and the Iroquois Confederacy,” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, at the Asheboro Public Library.  The talk is free and the public is invited.

Smallwood draws on 30 years of research in archives in North Carolina, Virginia, New York and Canada to offer an answer to what happened to the colonists, and also to explain some of North Carolina’s and Virginia’s hidden history — particularly the interactions of the Tuscarora  people with Africans and Europeans.

He also considers recent discoveries in eastern North Carolina — in Bertie County in particular — as well as newly-uncovered maps, artifacts, human remains, colonial records and oral histories that yield fascinating clues.

Beyond the Lost Colony itself, Smallwood’s talk will spark discussion about the state’s complex history and the co-mingled heritage of who make up the American “melting pot.”

A Windsor, N.C., native, Smallwood is a professor at North Carolina A & T State University, where he is chair of the Department of History. He holds a master’s in history from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

He is author of several books and articles, and focuses his research on the relationships between African-Americans, Native Americans and Europeans in eastern North Carolina during the colonial and early antebellum periods. Recipient of a number of fellowships and grants, Smallwood also participated in the award-winning UNC-TV documentary The Birth of a Colony: North Carolina.

Smallwood’s appearance, part of the Road Scholar series, is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Friends of the Library.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Popular “Matter of Balance” fall-prevention classes return to Asheboro library

ASHEBORO -- Many older adults fear falling, and restrict their activities on account of that concern.

In “A Matter of Balance,” an eight-week series of workshops returning to the Asheboro Public Library from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays beginning May 7, participants will learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, and will develop the ability to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.

The course is free, but space is limited; visit the Reference Desk or call 336-318-6803 to sign up.

Each class builds on the previous classes to emphasize practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

Offered in conjunction with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging, the nationally-recognized program was developed at the Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions at Boston University.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street.

Learn to plan “family history family reunion” in Asheboro library workshop

ASHEBORO – Pick up some tips for planning a fun family reunion while getting your relatives interested in family history, in “Planning a Family History Family Reunion,” 7-9 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Asheboro library.

The class, presented by Randolph Room staff member Kendra Lyons, is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call the Randolph Room at 336-318-6815.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

“Let’s Talk Turtles” at Asheboro library

ASHEBORO – Come out of your shell for “Let’s Talk Turtles” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The informal presentation by biologist Melanie Stadler will describe the basic differences between turtles, tortoises and terrapins, and provide a detailed look at the sea turtle species that inhabit the waters and nest on the beaches of North Carolina.

Stadler also will discuss what makes each sea turtle species unique; why they are important indicators of the planet’s health; what threats they face; and what participants can do to help them survive.

Stadler holds a master’s degree in biology from Florida Atlantic University and for the past eight years has worked as a sea turtle biologist in Florida. She recently relocated to Greensboro to begin work on a Ph.D. in Geography, Environment and Sustainability at UNC-Greensboro, focusing on threatened bog turtles and their habitats.

Her presentation is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Sunset Series talk to feature Jerry Bledsoe

Jerry Bledsoe
ASHEBORO – Catch up with New York Times #1 bestselling author Jerry Bledsoe as he talks about how he found his calling as a writer during the turbulent 1960s in the third installment of the 2019 Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the historic Sunset Theatre in downtown Asheboro.

Bledsoe’s talk is free and the public is invited. The Sunset Signature Series is sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Library.

Bledsoe will share stories – some hilarious and some poignant – from his new memoir Do-Good Boy: An Unlikely Writer Confronts the ‘60s and Other Indignities. From his days as an 18-year-old Army enlistee assigned as an unlikely military journalist even though he had flunked high school English to the beginnings of his widely-read column at the Greensboro Daily News, Bledsoe recounts his experiences in the Army, his coverage of the Civil Rights movement in the Triad, his interview with a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix, his encounter with a very angry garden club, and many more adventures.

A Danville native who grew up in Thomasville, Bledsoe worked at newspapers in Kannapolis, Charlotte and Greensboro, where his regular column became an institution. He was a contributing editor for Esquire, and also wrote for Rolling Stone and New York  magazines.

His first book was The World’s Number One, Flat-Out. All-Time Great Stock Car Racing Book published in 1975. Twenty more books have followed, including compilations of his columns and titles such as You Can’t Live on Radishes, From Whalebone to Hothouse: A Journey Along North Carolina’s Longest Highway, U.S. 64 and North Carolina Curiosities: Jerry Bledsoe’s Outlandish Guide to the Dadblamedest Things to See and Do in North Carolina.

His newspaper series documenting the horrific Klenner-Lynch murders in the mid-1980s became the New York Times #1 bestselling book Bitter Blood, which was followed by other true crime tales including Blood Games, Before He Wakes and Death Sentence. Bledsoe also ventured into fiction, with the nostalgic The Angel Doll in 1996 and its follow-up, A Gift of Angels.

Bitter Blood, Blood Games and The Angel Doll have been made into TV miniseries or movies.

Bledsoe also established Down Home Press, a publishing company, and wrote investigative articles for The Rhinoceros Times in Greensboro.

He and his wife Linda live in Asheboro.

The final Sunset Series event for 2019 will feature University of North Carolina basketball titan Eric Montross at 7  p.m. Saturday, September 21.

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Avenue. For further information, call the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau at 800-626-2672.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Learn about the moon and beyond at Asheboro library Star Party

ASHEBORO – Observe the first quarter moon and learn about the moon and space with NASA Solar System Ambassador Capt. Mike Lucas in “Star Party Friday” from 4-6 p.m. Friday, April 12, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The event, for the whole family, is free and the public is invited. Activities are for children of any age; Lucas’s talk is best for ages 8 and up.

Outdoor activities will include moon observation with kid binoculars and standard telescopes (use the library’s or bring your own), and messy moon crater experiments. Indoor activities will include moon phase investigations and science–themed crafts.

Lucas, from Kernersville, is a retired pilot with over 26,000 flying hours. He has had a fascination with spaceflight since childhood, and has met most of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts.

He holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Houston, and speaks frequently on NASA history and solar system exploration.

The library’s Star Party is part of the 7th Annual Statewide Star Party taking place on April 12-13, with astronomy clubs, parks, universities, planetariums, science centers and libraries hosting public skywatching parties across the state. This year’s theme is “the Moon and Beyond” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6804.

Historian Kevin Duffus to tackle mystery of missing Hatteras light in Asheboro library talk

Kevin Duffus
ASHEBORO – Popular historian and author Kevin Duffus will return to the Asheboro Public Library with the tale of how he found the lost original lens of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse — a national treasure — at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23.

The French-manufactured 1803 Fresnel (pronounced fer-NEL) lens was missing for 140 years. One of the first made for a U.S. lighthouse, it was displayed at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York City. During the Civil War, the
12-foot tall, 6,000-pound bronze and glass optic was removed by Confederate authorities, and was lost.

Duffus chronicled his successful search for the lens, which also unearthed a wealth of lighthouse lore and reached into his own family history, in his book The Lost Light: The Mystery of the Missing Cape Hatteras Fresnel Lens, published in 2003.

An award-winning author, researcher and filmmaker, Duffus has made significant discoveries about North Carolina history, starting at age 17 when he found a Confederate gunboat sunken in a river near his home, and extending to groundbreaking conclusions about Blackbeard and his treasure.

His appearance, part of the Road Scholar series, is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Friends of the Library.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.